Joe Root expresses frustration after ending 2019 with a Test defeat

It has been a wonderful year for England especially in the limited-overs format where they lifted the World Cup for the first time in their history. However, it has been an up and down journey in 2019 when it comes to the longer format of the game and the year ended with a disappointing defeat by 107 runs against South Africa in the first Test.

England played 12 Tests this year and managed to win only four Tests out of it. They lost 6 games while two Tests were drawn and they also failed to take the Ashes away from Australia. They are currently placed fourth in the ICC Test rankings with 102 points and are ranked sixth in the ICC Test Championship points table with 56 points.

England captain Joe Root expressed his disappointment and also labelled the year as a ‘frustrating year’ for his side in the longer format of the game. However, he almost managed to pick out some positive signs from the defeats.

“It’s been frustrating. It’s been quite a big year of transition in Test cricket. There’s been a lot of change over the year. If you look at where we were at the back end of Sri Lanka (in 2018), you’d really have thought we were making strides away from home with signs that things had improved,” he said.

After the series against South Africa, England will be heading to Sri Lanka in March next year  before inviting West Indies and Pakistan in the summer of 2020. Root is confident to turn things around and hopes to climb up in the ICC Test Championship.

“There is still a long way that this team can go and we are looking at all the areas where we can get better. It’s a determined group of players who are very keen to do that. You cannot fault anyone’s effort, anyone’s desire, the character to want to improve.”

“Over time, if we can learn these lessons and find ways of shifting our mentality into the first innings from the second innings, then we are going to give ourselves a much better chance of winning games,” Root concluded.

England will lock horns with South Africa in the second Test on January 3  in Cape Town.